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Re: Deep linking barriers in the UK: The Royal Mail

From: John Kemp <john@jkemp.net>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2010 09:53:30 -0400
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org>, Henry S. Thompson <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <ECC0F44E-D9AA-4CF4-8071-6EB14651745B@jkemp.net>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
On Apr 25, 2010, at 12:59 AM, Pat Hayes wrote:

> 
> On Apr 24, 2010, at 7:27 AM, John Kemp wrote:
> 
>> On Apr 23, 2010, at 9:39 PM, Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>> 
>>> On 2010-04 -23, at 15:35, Paul Libbrecht wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Le 23-avr.-10 à 04:07, Tim Berners-Lee a écrit :
>>>> 
>>>>>> What is the reason this is called deep-linking?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Well, it has been called that.
>>>> 
>>>> Excuse me to insist but I really feel that calling it is tainting it as sin while it really is just a usual form of linking and it should be clear to be a normal right except on "evil sites". I feel that naming it such, from an authority such as the TAG, does justify policy-makers to write such conditions-of-use.
>>> 
>>> "Tainting it as a sin"?  I must be missing something.   What is wrong with the word "deep"? as in "not shallow" meaning "not to the highest level of the hierarchy". Can you think of an alternative word for the issue which you would prefer?
>> 
>> I believe that the point is that a link is a link, no matter to what place in a hierarchy -- proposed only by the site owner -- it points. So why do we believe that (or talk as if) there is some hierarchy ("shallow", "deep") implied only by a link?
> 
> 
> This seems rather disingenuous to me.

I meant it as just another way of saying "URIs are to be treated as opaque" - or at least, that "a hierarchy should not be assumed simply from looking at a URI". 

> Sure, a link is a link. But I read the Royal Mail request (as quoted by Dan C.) simply a plea, or warning, that their 'internal' links are labile and liable to be changed without warning, and that therefore it would be unwise to use them as if they were stable links.
> In contrast to the links to the 'top' of their internal hierarchies, which are promised (or assumed) to be more stable. Now, of course, this doubly flies in the face of the standard advice on the coolness of URIs: nevertheless, it seems like honest and potentially helpful advice about how the Royal Mail are failing to be cool in their use of URIs.

I agree - I was simply explaining my understanding of Paul's point, not saying anything more general about the nature of this advice.

Regards,

- johnk

> No doubt such uncoolness is regrettable, but it does not seem to me to be a terribly important or far-reaching matter for the TAG to be considering.
> 
> Pat Hayes
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Received on Sunday, 25 April 2010 13:54:01 UTC

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